SAN DIEGO – Every day, 3.6 million people in San Diego and southern Orange counties depend on San Diego Gas & Electric Company to provide reliable energy service to their homes and businesses. In recognition of SDG&E’s continued superior performance and innovation in the utility industry, PA Consulting honored the company with two of its most prestigious awards: Outstanding Reliability Performance in the West Region Metropolitan Service Area, also known as the “Best in the West,” and Outstanding Grid Sustainability.
“For 22 years, the ReliabilityOne Awards have highlighted outstanding electric utility providers who resiliently build a more positive future for their customers,” Gregg Edeson and Derek HasBrouck, co-program directors of PA Consulting’s ReliabilityOne, said. “We are pleased to name San Diego Gas and Electric Company as an industry leader for delivering outstanding service and restoration efforts while balancing customer needs.”
For more than a decade, SDG&E has invested in innovative technologies and programs that have made it an industry leader in wildfire safety, grid resiliency and sustainability. The company has implemented grid hardening efforts and integrated enhanced situational awareness tools, like wildfire modeling and LiDAR technology, to identify potential wildfire risks and reduce customer impacts associated with outages.
“It is an honor to once again be recognized by PA Consulting in this year’s ReliabilityOne awards” Caroline Winn, CEO of SDG&E, said. “At SDG&E, our culture is to be better today than we were yesterday and that is what drives us to work tirelessly to enhance grid resiliency, advance sustainability, help keep our region safe in the face of a dynamic climate and improve customer resiliency.”
It is the 17th consecutive year that SDG&E has specifically received the ReliabilityOne Award for ‘Outstanding Reliability Performance’ among utilities in the West. To be named the most reliable utility in a metropolitan service area in the western United States means electricity is available when customers need it, with fewer interruptions than elsewhere in the West. The ReliabilityOne Awards are given annually to utilities in eight regions that have excelled in delivering outstanding reliable electric service to their customers.
Some of SDG&E’s programs and projects that contributed to its recognition as “Best in the West” and the award for outstanding grid sustainability include enhanced climate hardening, resilience advancements, grid sustainability and customer resiliency.
SDG&E implemented one of the most comprehensive and robust wildfire risk mitigation programs in the industry.
SDG&E deployed an advanced weather network with 221 weather stations, cameras equipped with artificial intelligence to detect smoke, air quality sensors and technology that measures moisture content in vegetation. The network also leverages satellites’ latest remote sensing capabilities to detect, alert and monitor wildfire activity from space.
SDG&E uses LiDAR technology to capture vegetation clearances for more than 4,000 miles of distribution circuits within the areas at most risk for wildfires to inform and prioritize vegetation management activities.
SDG&E is deploying its own private communications network to seamlessly and instantaneously transmit data to and from its infrastructure and field crews to help prevent wildfires by supporting advanced protection and drone technologies and machine learning.
Grid sustainability and energy reliability have been a primary focus for SDG&E. The company has invested in multiple programs to advance the use of clean energy and improve customer resiliency.
It includes the construction of several renewable microgrids to keep communities and critical facilities energized during public safety power shutoffs while taking advantage of California’s abundant solar resources.
SDG&E developed “The Path to Net Zero,” an actionable roadmap recommending a diversified approach to decarbonization utilizing clean electricity, clean fuels and carbon removal to achieve California’s 2030 and 2045 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.
SDG&E developed a suite of clean energy solutions, including two battery storage sites, to bolster grid reliability and community resilience during the hot summer by easing the strain on the larger energy grid.
“This recognition is a reflection of the work of our 4,600 incredible employees who show up each day with drive and innovation to provide some of the healthiest, safest, strongest and most reliable energy service today and for generations to come in our region,” Winn said.
Submitted by San Diego Gas & Electric.